Line Cook

1 ticket, 2 ticket, 3 ticket…13 tickets.

“1 order tots, 3 orders pork sliders, 1 steak sandwich, 3 orders french fries,1 grilled chicken, 1 chicken arugula sandwich…”

…”How many orders of sliders do you have?”

“Three all day, Chef.”

…”Where are my tots?”

“Here, Chef!”

…”Yes, Chef!”

…”Heard, Chef.”

Sweet Jesus.  I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into working the line last night.  For the first time since I started my internship, I was excited to start a shift, excited to be a line cook.  I worked the happy hour station, which in a nutshell means everything fried, sandwiches, sliders and tots.  Friday is the busiest night of the week and it definitely was insane.  I have never been so busy in my entire life at work.  Happy hour starts at 4 and I did not stop working until nearly 9 o’clock.  There were at one point 13 tickets staring at me on the line and it was pretty hard not to freak out and wonder how I would get everything done.  Multitasking is the name of the game for the happy hour station.  You don’t have time to think about one ticket at a time.  It’s exhausting.

When I was behind the line on Wednesday, I commented on how hot it was.  I was sweating just standing there talking to people.  Today, I hardly even noticed it.  I was moving around so fast that it really didn’t matter how hot it was.  I honestly just forgot about it.  The tickets just kept pouring in and I just kept making food, burning food, re-doing food, plating food.  Yeah, I burned two orders of tots when I was trying to do three things at once.  I managed to screw up an order of dumplings and I burnt my finger and my arms got splattered numerous times with scalding hot oil.  Apparently, after cooking for a while, you just get used to picking up hot things and don’t have to used tongs and towels like I do.

It was a frustrating trying to keep up with people who have years of cooking experience on me.  I walked into work yesterday, ready to kick some serious ass and prove that I belong on the line.  I know I worked my butt off and tried the hardest I ever have in my life to impress the people I was working with.  It was also my first shift and I should cut myself some slack.  It’s a very different experience working in an environment where I am the only girl.  It’s a little lonely sometimes, but mostly I am aware of how differently I react to things than the guys.  My voice is also higher than everyone else’s, so it really stands out when I call out, “Heard.  Steak sandwich, no bun, no cheese.”  Yes, someone really ordered this.  Why didn’t you just order a steak…?  I have no problem hanging out with a bunch of guys; honestly, it’s like having four new brothers!  Some solidarity with another girl would be nice, but I’ll just have to learn to find that with the guys.

Today’s a new day and I’m working the same shift I did yesterday.  At least now I know what’s coming and when my ass gets handed to me again, I won’t be shocked.  Happy Saturday!


One thought on “Line Cook

  1. Pingback: On Kitchen Confidence | Cook/Write

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